James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William Lee, 4 March 1806

United States Consular Agency Bordeaux March 4th 1806


By two Imperial Decrees dated the ⟨t⟩wenty second and twenty fifth of last month, the importation ⟨in⟩to this country of White and printed Cottons, and muslins ⟨is⟩ prohibited: Cotton Wool is henceforth to pay a duty of ⟨si⟩xty francs, per decimal quintal, equal to thirty francs, on ⟨o⟩ne hundred pounds, and Tobacco is hereafter to pay a ⟨d⟩uty, of two hundred francs the quintal decimal, equal ⟨to⟩ one hundred francs, the hundred pounds, to which must be added the ten per cent, or war duty.

Some of the Bankers at Paris write, ⟨t⟩hat it is expected a Law, will be promulgated in a few ⟨d⟩ays, obliging all importers of Colonial produce, to export the ⟨a⟩mount of the Cargoes they may receive, in the produce & manufactures of this country. Such a regulation would ⟨i⟩njure our Commerce infinitely more than that of Great Britain.

Captains Salter, Tuck, Pennick & Sargent ⟨w⟩hose Vessels were destroyed by the Rochfort Squadron, have not yet received an indemnity for their losses. The Crews of the Vessels, have been paid off up to the tim⟨e⟩ of their arrival at Rochfort, which seemed to indicate a a determination to do justice toward the Captains, and owne⟨rs⟩ but as this justice has been so long delayed, I have adv⟨ised⟩ the Captains who have consulted me on the business, to abandon to the underwriters.

Count Cobenzel has left Paris with the Emperor⟨’s⟩ Ultimatum, which has given rise to many conjectures. ⟨By⟩ some it is supposed that the French insist on the passag⟨e⟩ of the Sound being shut to the English. An acquiescenc⟨e⟩ in such a measure, on the part of Prussia would inevi⟨tably⟩ involve her with Russia,in the contest she would no doubt, be supported by this Country, but it is feared by some that Napoleons obstinancy, in this particular, will force a union between Russia, & Prussia, for the protection of northern Europe. All idea of peace bet⟨ween⟩ this Country and England has vanished within these few days. On the twenty fifth of May the Kings of Baden, Wirtemburg, Bavaria, Naples and Italy are ⟨it⟩ is said to be crowned at Paris. My last respects conta⟨ined⟩ an account of the surrender of Naples to the Prince Josep⟨h.⟩ With great respect I have Sir the honor to remain Your obedient Serva⟨nt⟩

Wm. Lee

DNA: RG 59—CD—Consular Despatches, Bordeaux.

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